Amsterdam-based telecoms and pay-TV firm United Group is considering ditching Huawei equipment from its networks. The group has operations across in southeastern Europe and the Balkans, in markets such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Serbia. Reuters reports that United is seeking to align itself more closely with the US government, which has called on operators not to use equipment from Huawei due to alleged links with the Chinese government.
United Group chairman Nikos Stathopoulos told Reuters: ‘I think a gradual and measured switch to something that is more US-approved is the right approach, and it’s one that we’re considering.’ He added: ‘We cannot ignore their wishes but, in an ideal world, we should also receive financial help (from governments) for switching to new infrastructure, as it will cost us millions of dollars to do so.’
Huawei has denied that its gear poses a national security risk. A spokesperson for the vendor said: ‘In the past years, we had good cooperation with the United Group, and we hope we will continue this cooperation in the coming years.’